Food to eat on the hoof
The courgette and ricotta tart was great even after a day or two in the fridge. It didn’t go horribly soggy, but obviously isn’t quite as crisp and delicious as if consumed on the day it is made. The scotch eggs are delicious, but heavy going if you were to consume an entire one. I would recommend cutting them in half before serving, although if you find yourself talking to a real bore, an entire one will keep them occupied for quite some time.
Courgette, pine nut and ricotta tart
Makes 12 generous slices
2 tbsp olive oil
3-4 courgettes (approx 1kg in total)
Salt and pepper
2 x 250g tubs ricotta
4 eggs, beaten
Basil, a large handful
Nutmeg, a grating
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
500g puff pastry
Flour for dusting
Pine nuts, a large handful
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees/gas 6. Heat up the olive oil in a decent-sized frying pan. Slice the courgettes thinly. Sweat them in the oil and season well. When they are soft, set them aside to cool. Mix the ricotta, eggs, basil, nutmeg and 50g of the Parmesan, along with the garlic. You can do this with a whisk or spoon or electric beater. Season this mixture too.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to fit a standard baking tray (mine is 36cm x 28cm). Roll it out slightly larger than the tray, and then fold over the edges to form a little rim and slightly crimp the pastry. Slide the pastry onto the baking tray and put it back in the fridge.
Wait until the courgettes have cooled down, then spread the ricotta mixture on top of the pastry and smooth with a spatula. Add the courgettes in a layer and then sprinkle the pine nuts and remaining 100g of grated Parmesan on top. Bake for about 35-40 minutes until slightly puffed up and a lovely golden brown. Allow it to cool down and then slice and serve or else cool down fully, refrigerate and serve cold the next day. It’s also fine to reheat this, at about 180 degrees/gas 4, for 15 minutes or so.
Smoked salmon scotch eggs
400g smoked or hot smoked salmon
250g cream cheese
Small bunch dill
1 tbsp horseradish sauce
Approx 100g breadcrumbs
1-2 eggs, beaten
Soft boil the eggs. Start them in cold water, in a reasonably small saucepan, generously covered with the water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for three minutes. Plunge the eggs into cold water and, when they are really cold, peel them (this is sometimes easier to do under running water) and refrigerate.